Sinfield is not big, not fast and not particularly elusive. So why would he ever come into consideration for this award. What does he do that is so good.?
Well he does many things well and the sum of the parts is a great player.
He is versatile, he can play halfback, loose forward or hooker ( in fact when he played hooker for England he was better than when he played halfback)
He can launch long passes to put his wings or other outside backs into space or he can gave sublime little short passes to put forwards through the gaps.
He also has the ability to back up other players and finish off moves with a try ( who else thought to support Ablett for his try in the grand final, he came from nowhere to finish off that move.)
He can and does tackle effectivley.
His kicking game is a major weapon in his arsenal. He launches cross field kicks to he corner that allow Hall to be as good as he is, he launches high bombs that paralyse the opposition defenders as again was typified by the kick that Ablett claimed when he put Sinfield in to score in the grand final. His goalkicking is extraordinary and it is still an integral part of the game. His accuracy won the semi final against Wigan as well as a drop goal at a critical point in the game and cemented the win against Warrington by putting the score out of reach.
He gets up off the floor and refuses to be intimidated as in the final. In the semi final he also received some heavy tackles. In that game Leeds were away at the league leaders and appeared to have a game plan of pinning Wigan in their own half with kicks and pushing the score along on scraps, goals, drop goals and he was the captain, the on field general for the coach and also the kicker and he executed the game plan perfectly to pull off the shock victory.
His leadership skills have been mentioned and he is the glue that molds that very good Leeds team together. He has taken a team of mostly British players and beaten the best the game has to offer in the UK for 5 out of the last 6 years.
He has done all this with a physique and speed of Mr Everyman. To me, a players player and a leader of men. He deserves the honour
for his all around accomplishments. The complete player.
Pretty much everything you mentioned Cameron Smith can do equally if not better in my opinion,
Passing Game - Cameron Smith is one of the best passers in the NRL especially when he runs from Dummy Half and sets up attacks and Line Breaks for guys like Slater and Cronk, it's a key part of the Storm attack, wouldn't be able to tell you how many of his passes have lead to line breaks, Line break assists would be off the chart.
Kicking Game - Kicking game is sublime, go back and watch Origin 1, his kicking game was what won QLD that game, the game was in their own half for about 10 minutes, 2 or 3 incredible long range kicks and QLD got control of the game and went on to win when all the momentum was with the opposition, plenty of the Storms tries came from his kicks, most of them to Slater.
Tackling - Smith has been considered for many years as the best defender in Rugby league, has averaged over 40 tackles a game for as long as I can remember.
Versatility - Maybe goes to Sinfield as Smith doesn't move from Half Back or Hooker.
Support Play - Well that's more of a backs role not a Hookers but look at most of the Storm tries and Cam will pretty much play a key role in setting all of them up.
Toughness - Him, Slater and Cronk get targeted more than Hot Chips at an all you can eat buffet and still manage to suck it up and play their natural games.
Ruck play - This is where he excels - no one in the game of Rugby league controls the Ruck like he does, i'd argue the Ruck is one of if not the most important part of the game
Leadership Skills - Probably even I guess, although Cameron does have better consistency in his game than Kevin, Cameron did have the pressure of taking the captaincy from Lockyer with all the media and fans pressure that come with it and still lead Australia to wins over New Zealand, wins over NSW I already mentioned how important he was in origin 1 and his team to a premiership, Kevin lead his team to 5th on the table and a cup final loss, Grand Final performance was exceptional, I did watch the game on Euro Sport and thought he played well but one game still doesn't make you the best in the world.
Size - Smith isn't the biggest of guys either, still manages 40+ tackles and still barely misses any.
Some good points though but I still think Cam does the basics better than anyone despite not being Flashy like a Tomkins, Hall and a Slater. Based on what the Chairman of the magazine said does Cameron have to get knocked out to win this award?
Im not even a QLD fan and I hate the club he plays for but I respect him as a footballer just like I respect guys like Tomkins, Hall, Charnley, S Burgess.
Edited by 1jordy, 05 January 2013 - 01:21 PM.
St George Illawarra Dragons fan with a Soft Spot for Wigan in the Super League.